Technology has transformed how modern businesses operate and is at the center of every process and activity in the digital age. Cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile tech are part of the latest tech frontier that is driving huge change as enterprises strive to establish more meaningful relationships with customers, create engaging marketing campaigns and deploy a scalable and compliant IT infrastructure to glean a competitive advantage. Keeping up to date with business technology is an absolute necessity if a firm wants to grow and prosper but it must be managed effectively to minimize ‘digital disruption’.
Modern IT architecture
Establishing a technology infrastructure that is flexible and easily updated should be the first concern for SMEs and larger corporations. Computer hardware, software and website technology are three basic components that directly impact on business productivity and continuity. Slow hardware will cost money as employees will be less productive and miss out on sales opportunities while out of date software can create widespread problems and make it difficult to integrate systems. Meanwhile, poor website tech can have a devastating effect on the ability to attract and retain prospective customers and leave enterprises open to security hacks, attacks and exploits.
Keeping pace with the rapidly changing and expanding world of tech can appear overwhelming but the nature of the latest digital tools has made it more affordable than ever before while it is easy to update anywhere at any time and to get access to expert help. Online software website https://invoicehome.com/ makes it fast and easy for entrepreneurs and small business to email invoices to clients by offering more than 100 customizable templates, “Click to pay” buttons and PayPal integration. It is simple to create an invoice using the service and it saves time and resources by streamlining how businesses create and finalize deals with their customers. Similar tech can also be used to help with tax credits and deductions and other activities that were often confusing and time heavy before the advent of today’s multi faceted digital landscape.
The cloud has been a game changer for smaller firms as it has enabled them to use industry leading software, products and services through the Internet rather than investing in large, traditional infrastructures. Vendors such as Salesforce, Microsoft and Oracle offer scalable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions which can transform how a business operates, from generating sales leads to using analytics to make sense of the mass of big data available to them. Consultancy firm Ovum has predicted that almost three-quarters of organizations will be using some form of hybrid cloud strategy, which uses a mix of on premise tech and cloud services, by the end of this year.
Online tech that can boost productivity include mobile and web application workflow management tools such as Asana. Managing projects on a vast scale can be extremely difficult but these online tools enable people across the enterprise to collaborate using various modes of communication including online chat and email while sharing important files. There are team management options so it is possible to assigns people to certain groups and tasks and the majority of these services integrate with cloud storage applications such as Dropbox, which allow employees to retrieve data anywhere at anytime. This is another huge advantage of cloud type solutions, as it is no longer possible to be limited by server space or memory as online applications can be scaled to suit an organization’s goals and objectives.
Social media is another technological development that has changed how businesses conduct commerce. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are now a portal for developing lasting and meaningful relationships with customers and establishing brand identity. Visibility is key in the digital age so it is not merely enough to have a functioning website. Modern firms should also establish an effective social media strategy to reach the widest audience possible. This also involves posting blog posts, videos and other content on a regular basis to attract new customers and develop a position as an authoritative leader in the industry. Salesforce claims that customers engage with upwards of eleven pieces of content before they complete a purchase so firms aiming to keep pace with tech should prioritize content marketing to get ahead.
Content also lends itself to search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process of affecting the visibility of a web page in a search engine such as Google. This is important as customers will enter keywords when looking for products and being on the first page will help to attract more clicks and increase the chances of a sale. WordPress is one of the best platforms for creating engaging web pages built around SEO.
Has tech helped everyone?
Faster, faster, faster is the common motto for everything in business today due to the convenience technology has created in every field. Poor average page load speeds can have a detrimental impact on SEO, slow reaction times to security breaches can cause devastating financial and reputational consequences and mediocre analytics can lead to bad business decisions. For a business to adapt to the new tech, it must embrace a culture centered on digital ecosystems and innovation. The limitless application and reach of tech can make it difficult to define exactly what needs to be done and to establish a coherent business strategy so modern enterprises must begin by focusing on maybe five or six components and building from there. Consultancy firm Black Enterprise concludes, “these tech tools can swiftly fuel your business operations, streamline process and save you time and money.”
Business technology will only evolve further from here onwards with cloud computing set to make up even more of business process and activities during the next decade. The soon to be ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT), which encompasses the network of physical objects such as sensors, electronics and software which collect and exchange data, will expand the tech frontier further still. The rise of smart systems and wearables will drive smarter business operations and decisions, help to create more useful connected products and services and could eventually bring about a sea change in business model.